tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 13, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm PST
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it smells worse. get 4x the protection against stress sweat. introducing new secret clinical strength stress response scent. from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. good sunday morning. the president's nominee to lead the defense department, former senator chuck hagel is under intense scrutiny and he as the white house try to push back against critics of his foreign policy views. this morning, someone who supports the hagel nomination, the former secretary of state, general colin powell, here to speak exclusively to us. general powell, good morning, welcome back to the program. >> good morning, david. good to be here. >> i want to start on chuck hagel. why do you think he should be confirmed? >> i think there are a number of reasons. first, i think he has had a very, very distinguished public service record that he can stand on. there are a lot of comments about different things he said over the years and i think he
will have a chance to respond to all those comments as the confirmation hearings. but it might be useful just to stand back and take a look at this man overall a young man who volunteered to go to vietnam. they wanted to send him to europe, a nice, safe, place, he wanted to go to vietnam. he and his brother went. they were both wounded, he was wounded twice. came back to vietnam, went to school on the gi bill, veterans administration. from there went to other things in life. he supported president reagan in his run for office and as a result of that, he received an appointment as deputy director of the veterans administration to show you the kind of courage this guy has and what he believes in he quit after one year because he felt the veterans administration was not doing a good job for veterans answered couldn't take that went back to private life. started a cellular company. in those days, it was something rather remarkable and new. made a fortune. did very, very well. and he continued to serve. and while he was running that cellular company, he also was president of the uso, which was
in trouble. so this is a guy who knows veterans, knows the troops, knows the uso. and when people say, well that doesn't necessarily make him a good candidate for secretary of defense, i will tell you who thinks that makes him a good candidate for secretary of defense, the men and women in the armed forces of the united states and their parents who know that this is a guy who will be very careful about putting their lives at risk, 'cause he put his life at risk. he know what is war is and he will fight a wars if the's necessary but a guy that will do it with great deliberation and care. beyond that he went back to nebraska, ran for senate. became a senator. said he would only serve two terms. only served two terms. and when he was elected the second time, he was elected with 83% of the vote. this is a guy respected by his fellow citizens of nebraska. served here for a total of 12 years. and what did he do when he left the senate? he became an academic in georgetown, school of foreign
service, teaching the new leaders. he also has been co-chairman of the president's intelligence advisory board. he is also on the defense policy board. this is a gentleman who knows all of these issues in depth. he is a fellow who speaks his mind. he sometimes gets in trouble with those who think he should not speak his mind but he says what he believes and he sticks with it. so the issues that are being raised now are important issues and that's why we have a confirmation hearing and i'm sure that chuck will be able to deal with those issues at the hearing. >> let's go through a few of them. >> all right. >> on iran, he has been criticized for his views, he failed to label iran's revolutionary guard a terror organization, advocated direct talks with iran which have not borne fruit and as advocated taking force off the table when dealing with iran. steve hayes in the weekly standard wrote nothing something in his blog this week, which i will put on the screen. , which will put on the screen.
how would he advise this president on how to overcome the threat? >> first of all, i don't think that is a correct assessment. chuck hagel said nothing is off the table but one of the things he believes in is prospects for negotiation. we have been ready to negotiate under the right set of circumstances with iran for the last several years with our friends and allies so, force is the table but i'm glad we have people like the president and like chuck hagel who will be very careful when you start throwing around the terms -- >> he says it's not feasible. do you agree it is not feasible. >> what is the not feasible? >> military option? military option is always feasible, you tell me what the option is. are we going to blow up tehran or go after facilities that might be well protected or hidden? and i think bob gates, the previous secretary of defense, who pointed out the difficulty of striking these places is a real one. so any military option is feasible in terms of dropping bombs but what is the result of that military attack? with respect to the revolutionary guard, he has reasons for why he didn't go
along with that resolution at the time and that will be explored in the confirmation hearings. the last three weeks, we have had dueling op eds, dueling blogs and dueling different groups coming forward but most of the national security community in retirement that i know and many of the secretaries of defense and state i know, national security advisers, distinguished ambassadors, who served in the middle east think that chuck hagel is a solid guy who speaks his mind. he's a good supporter of israel. he has been there and the record will show that but he is not reluctant to disagree when he thinks disagreement is appropriate. >> you brought up israel. he referred to a jewish lobby saying it intimidates a lot of people on capitol hill what kind of thinking does that reflect? can you understand pro-israel senators being concerned by that comment? >> they shouldn't be that concerned that term slips out from time to time. there was an article this week that the israeli newspaper, haaretz, occasionally used the same thing. so, chuck should have said israeli lobby, not jewish lobby and perhaps he needs to write on
a blackboard 100 times it is the israeli lobby. but is there an israeli lobby. there are people who very supportive of the state of israel. i am very supportive of the state of israel. so is senator hagel and you will see this in the confirmation hearings but it doesn't mean you have to agree with every single position that the israeli government takes. >> fair enough, but on a couple of measures, it seems very important, he seemed to feel so strongly about his views about israel that he was a distinct minority in senate. for instance, one of only four senators in october 2000 who would not sign a letter expressing solidarity with israel because there was an intifada going on. only one of a few senators renewing the libya sanctions act. he came back from a trip in 1998, he was critical of israel and the associated press report it this wake the headline, senator blames israel for the peace impasse. must do what it can to re-energize the peace process. israeli prime minister netanyahu, quoting hagel, stop the process, the israeli
government continues to play games. what i feel more today is desperate men do desperate things. you take hope away i hagel said you where the palestinians are today. there is a sense among his critics that he views this in an even handed way, that they share the blame, israelis and palestinians for a failure to achieve peace. is that his view? >> he should be able to give his views what he will do at the confirmation hearing. i don't believe there's moral equivalency between the two sides which is the suggestion of that article. >> he believe there is moral equivalency? >> you will have to ask him what he believes. my judgment and knowledge of chuck and my discussions with chuck would suggest that he wants to see both sides come to the table and find a solution. he supports the peace process. but he is upper most, a very, very strong supporter of the state of israel. he has voted for billions and billions of dollars of aid to israel. i have no question when it comes to challenges that have anything to do with putting israel at risk, chuck hagel will be on
israel's side. remember, he is working for a president. and he will follow the poll so i -- policies of that president. >> the renewed debate about iraq is also occurring. the "new york times" writes about that today. in his memoir, he writes something very poignant about the iraq war. he writes, "it all comes down to the fact we were asked to vote on a resolution based on half-truths, untruths and wishful thinking. i voted for this resolution that gave the president the authority to go to war in iraq. if all diplomatic efforts were exhausted and failed, unfortunately, it was not his intention to exhaust all diplomatic efforts. he is talking about the diplomatic efforts you were engaged in as secretary of state in the run-up to the war of iraq. >> we disagree with his characterization. we were basing all of our actions on a national intelligence estimate that the congress asked for and was provided to the congress by the cia. and all of us in the bush administration at that time accepted the judgment of our 16 intelligence communities. i present it had to the u.n. three months before i present it
had to the u.n., congress passed a resolution, also supported by senator hagel and many other senators that would give the president the authority to go to war. weren't half-truths is what we were being told by the intelligence community. we subsequently found out that a lot of that information was not accurate and that is very unfortunate but that's the way it unfolded. >> was he wrong on iraq? >> with respect to what? >> with respect to what he ultimately called a huge foreign policy blunder? >> he -- that's his characterization and if people want to challenge his characterization, they will have that opportunity. >> in your judgment, was he wrong on iraq? >> i would not have called it that, i would have said what i think that the president had more than sufficient basis to believe there were weapons of mass destruction that were a danger to the world and possibility of those weapons going to terrorists. and so, he undertook military action. i think that was the correct thing to do and it was well
supported by the intelligence. i think we did not execute the operation well. once baghdad fell there was a feeling that was the end of it. it was not. it was just the beginning for it. >> he was controversial for comments he made gays, add said about a ambassadorial nominee during the clinton administration, he was aggressively gay and detract from his effectiveness. he apologized for those comments. >> the apology accepted by the ambassador. >> but he -- the question that has been raised is can he, as defense secretary, forcefully implement the reversal of don't ask, don't tell, at a critical time, especially when they have not resolved same-sex partner benefits, for instance? >> don't ask, don't tell isn't there anymore. it doesn't have to be reversed. it's gone. and i think that what senator hagel will do as he has said as he will certainly testify at the confirmation hearing, that he will fully implement don't ask, don't tell there are still issues that have to be resolved but i think he will go after these issues in a way that will be very consistent with the administration's position with
the law and with the aspirations of our gay and lesbian men and women in military. he is not responsible for them. he is not responsible for them having a proper environment in which to do their jobs and that will include making sure that don't ask, don't tell and elimination of don't ask, don't tell is fully implemented. >> with regard to the military budget, he has called the military a bloated organization. chairman of the joint chiefs, martin dempsey, said this week that we are on the brink of creating a hollow force. would a secretary of defense hagel preside over the hollowing out of the defense department? >> the biggest concern with respect to who will league out is this sequester that's hanging like a sword over the department. that's what they had tried -- have to not let that happen but with respect to going in and finding things within the department of defense that perhaps you don't need or you can eliminate, if that's what you mean by bloat, i hope he does find bloat and gets rid of it.
>> do you agree with his characterization that it's bloated? >> bloated doesn't necessarily mean the whole department is bloated. bloated mean there is are probably things in the department that you can take a hard look at and determine whether or not you need it in light of the current situation and the strategy we are implementing. when i was chairman, we saw the end of the soviet union, completely different change in our strategic positioning. and we eliminated 1 million troops and cut the budget 25%. that's not the case now. but there's no reason why a secretary of defense should go into office thinking can't change anything, can't cut anything. you know, the people who say that, oh, that's terrible, he is going to try to find things to cut in the department are the same people saying we have got to cut spending, we have got to cut spending. everything has to be looked at, entitlements, more revenue, yes, you have to look at the defense department to see if there are opportunities for savings. >> bottom line, does chuck hagel get confirmed? >> i think he gets confirmed. ultimately superbly qualified based on his overall record, based on his service to the country, based on how he feels
about troops and veterans and families. i think he will do a great job as secretary of defense. and i think in his confirmation hearings, all of these issues that you have raised, others have raised, he will be prepared to deal w i have read some of the responses that he has already put together and i think would he make a version very spirited defense secretary in his position and be broadly confirmed. >> more broadly talking about the national security team. interesting the president chose this political fight over chuck hagel. declined to have it over susan rice. what was your view of her treatment in this whole process? >> i think it was not handled well. one of the problems with ambassador rice and chuck hagel, these signals come out saying this is who we are thinking about and you are left out there to dangle for weeks. well, if this is who you are going to nominate you nominate them and let's get on with the process. >> you feel like the president hung her out to dry? >> in both the susan rice case and chuck hagel case, if they were sure that is who they were going to nominate, i think it
should have been done promptly but all these sort of test nominations that they send out there, i think just cause the media to naturally focus on it and potential opponents of that nomination just pile on. >> outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton, she is facing pressure to testify on the benghazi matter. do you think that benghazi episode is a blot on her record as secretary of state? do you think it will affect her political future? >> i don't think so. i don't know what she knew about it or didn't know about it or where she was and so we will have to wait and see how the testimony goes. but i think she has had a distinguished record and i don't think this one incident, one of these things that those of us in government have been through many, many times, where suddenly an action happens late at night, you're surprised. somebody gets killed. something gets blown up. and then the afteraction reports start and everybody wants to know who was at fault, who was responsible?
why didn't keep this from happening? you can't keep everything from happening. benghazi was a very, very difficult one in a difficult situation and maybe they shouldn't have been there in the first place. and i think that we have had a good review of that by ambassador pickering and admiral mullin and i don't know whether the congress in their examination of mrs. clinton will find something that they find distasteful. i don't think it is a blot on her record. >> do you think hillary clinton would make a good president? >> i think she would be good in whatever does. if she is interested on that or not, i will let her opine on that. >> the broader issue of the foreign policy team, as i was just reflecting on, the mess -- the message that it appears to send. the financial times in summed it up this way, hagel selection seals end to bush's policies. this does not look like a let's invade iran teams says bruce reidel, a long-time cia officer, advised presidents on counterterrorism. looks like a fine alternative to military action team, primarily
a political solution. it seems like it is a rebuke to neoconservatives, those in the republican party feel there is unfinished business in the middle east and continue to project american power. do you view it that way? >> the first obama administration was also not an administration saying let's go find some place to bomb. neither, for that matter, was president bush's eight years. we fought the wars that we felt were necessary. president bush worked hard to try to solve other problems through diplomatic means. and so i think it's a little too stark to make this kind of characterization. i, as you well know, always believed that we should try to avoid war. we should be willing to talk to friends and willing to talk to enemies. and try to find a solution that's peaceful. but when do you find it is necessary to use military force, use it with a clear political objective in mind and use it for a decisive result. that's the kind of attitude that chuck hagel will bring to the equation. we will be careful. he will give the president his
best advice on the use or non-use of military force, how to solve the problem diplomatically. i'm sure he will be a great companion with mr. kerry in that regard. it's a good team. i think it's a very, very good team. now, a lot of my friends in the community who are of a more rightist persuasion, ones who have been hawking -- the hawks. >> the hawks, you think they are out of line in their criticism? >> no. it's their fair criticisms. they can make all the criticisms they want. when they go over the edge and say because chuck said jewish lobby is anti-semitic, it is disgraceful. we shouldn't have that kind of language in our dialogue but they are fully entitled to their views and didn't ever think they would go away and not be heard from again. but they have to remember one thing, it's president obama, not president mccain and not president romney that lost two elections. the american people have made it clear that they are not particularly interested in finding new conflicts to get into. and not particularly interested in saying, you know, sanctions are just a road bump on the way
to bombing. we should be very, very careful when we sort of toss around theories of use of military for situations that might be resolved in other ways. the other thing i would like to say about iran, we don't want them to have a nuclear weapon, we are punishing them severely now with the sanctions. we ought to keep it up. multilateral sanctions, whatever unilateral things we want to do. and also remember, this is a country in deep trouble, does not have a nuclear weapon yes. we don't want it to have one. but remember what we have. i still am an old-fashioned realist that says deterrence still works and they should know what the consequences to them would be if they ever were to use or cause us to believe they were going to use such a weapon if they had it and they don't have it yet. >> to mix in foreign policy with some politics, i'm struck when you talk about republicans as they.
i know you insist despite voting for president obama twice now that you're still a republican. but as i go through your record on some social issues and even foreign policy issues i challenge to you say on what basis are you still a republican? do you feel like this republican party has left you or have you left it? >> i think the republican party right now is having an identity problem. and i'm still a republican. i'm a republican who grew up along with george bush xli. i grew up with ronald reagan, cap weinberger, frank carlucci that republican party, the republican party of dick lugar and john tower. but in recent years, there's been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced, two losing presidential campaigns. i think what the republican party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country is changed. the country is changing demographically. if the republican party does not change along with that demographic, they are going to be in trouble. so, when we see this in one more generation, the minorities of america, african-americans, hispanic-americans, asian-americans will be the
majority of the country, you can't go around saying we don't want to have a solid immigration policy. we are going to dismiss the 47%. we are going to make it hard for these minorities to vote, as in the last election what did that produce in the court struck that down and most importantly, it caused people to turn out and stand in line because these republicans were trying to keep us from voting. there's also a dark -- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party what i do mean by that? i mean by that that they still sort of look down on minorities. how can i evidence that? when i see a former governor say that the president is shuckin' and jivin', that's racial era slave term. when i see another former governor after the president's first debate where he didn't do very well, says that the
president was lazy. he didn't say he was slow. he was tired. he didn't do well. he said he was lazy. now, it may not mean anything to most americans but to those of us who are african-americans, the second word is shiftless and then there's a third word that goes along with it. birther, the whole birther movement, why do senior republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party? i think the party has to take a look at itself. it has to take a look at its responsibility for health care it has to take a look at immigration, it has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. the party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. it is the party of lower taxes. but there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, also paying lots of taxes relative to their income. and they need help. we need more education work being done in this country. we need a solid immigration policy. we have to look at climate change there are a lot of things that the american people are expecting and the republican party, as they get ready for the next election, really has to focus on some of these issues and not ignore them. everybody wants to talk about
who is going to be the candidate you better think first about what's the party actually going to represent? if it's just gonna represent the far right-wing of the political spectrum, i think the party is in difficulty. i'm a moderate but i'm still a republican, that's how i was raised. until i voted for mr. obama twice i voted for seven straight republican presidents. >> a couple of other foreign policy matters, what should the force, u.s. force in afghanistan look like after next year? >> i think the president's on track here. we've done by 2014 the end of 2014, as much as we can with our troops fighting on the ground. so, we've raised up a large afghan army and afghan national police force. let's continue to give them assistance. let's continue to advise them. let's keep our counterterrorism people in place because it's al qaeda that we are really after. remember, we didn't -- taliban wasn't even on our list of enemies in the first few days after 9/11. only when they refused to give up al qaeda. so it's going to be up to the
afghan people and the afghan forces in order to deal with any insurgent taliban coming in. we can help them with intelligence. we can help them with weapons training, whatever they need but the burden of defending their country and keeping it from falling again to the taliban will rest squarely on the shoulders -- >> what about zero option? you leave any troops there? >> i have heard this rumor about zero option. i don't know there's any merit to it. you have to stay there. we have to have advisers. we have to watch where the money's going. we have to be able to conduct counterterrorism activities, so i would support a zero option but there's always a tendency in washington on these issues to say 2,000, 4,000, 10,000 that's not the right way to go about it. a military plan you determine what it is that we have to do. how many advisers do we need? what kind of military assistance group do we need? and then you determine what those numbers are. i don't know what those numbers are. the president has laid out some areas were we want to continue helping afghanistan after 2014 and now the military will have
to put numbers to those missions. >> you know there's a renew deed bait with the film "zero dark thirty" about interrogation technique of terror prisoners. this film is based, of course, on the successful hunt to bin laden. and the debate harkins took me to a visit former vice president cheney made on this program and told tim russert at the time things that would become necessary. let me show you that. >> also have to work the sort of dark side, spend time in the shadows and the intelligence world. that's the world these folks operate in. and so the's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, disposal, basically to achieve our objective. it is a mean, nasty, dangerous, dirty business out there and we have to operate in that arena. >> to extent that enhanced interrogation techniques played some role in tracking down the majorly the courier that led to bin laden, i choose my words
carefully, do the ends justify the means? >> we have determined that enhanced interrogation technique, such as waterboarding, torture, not going to do it anymore. the military didn't do it in the first place. and since 2003, it hasn't been done at all. i really can't answer the question as to whether or not movie's correct or what others have said are correct. but we can't be a nation that is lawless, can't be a nation that simply ignores our obligations to ourselves, our obligations to our constitution, our obligations to our own moral standing in the world. and so be tough, if on occasion you have to do something, be prepared to answer for what you're doing. but as the president has said and before him, po president bush was also -- we do not torture people. >> the ends justify the means, got bin laden in the end? >> we do not torture people it is against american policy. >> i want to end with this -- >> you can always debate what torture is.
i know what torture is. >> a final political matter that is very important at this particular point as the president thinks about. after the connecticut massacre, what's the solution? what kind of restriction should be put in place? >> it's a very complex issue and i'm anxious to see what vice president biden is going to come up with. you have deranged people throughout the country, unfortunately and they are part of the problem are. you have to be deranged to pick up a bushmaster or some weapon and go into a school and kill people. how do we deal with that part of the problem? is there an issue with violence, on television, violence in our games? that has to be looked at w respect to guns themselves, i'm a gun owner, believer in the second amendment, i note amendment rather thoroughly, i note issue of a well-regulated militia. but at the same time, we also have a responsibility under the constitution and the bill of rights to protect our people. so, surely, should be able to
find some meeting of the minds on this issue. why can't we test everybody or have everybody run through a screen to make sure that they are responsible person before they are allowed to buy a weapon, either in a store or in a private trance action? why can't we do a better job of registering things? with respect to assault weapons, i see no need for bushmasters in the hands of an individual person who might be deranged. want to fire a bushmaster, go out to a range and fire a bushmaster. but whether or not it's in our overall interest to have these kinds of weapons in the hands of americans who might not be responsible is a question we have to answer. how much are we really giving up if we said this kind of weapon should not be readily available to anybody who wants to buy one? and so i think we are at a very important point in our national dialogue on this. the nra feels very, very strongly. gun owners feel very, very strongly. the same time, the american people are concerned about the kinds of things that are happening in our society. surely, we can't get the whole ball of wax, i hope that there
will be a way to find something in this continuum of things we can do that we are able to do to demonstrate to the american people that this problem is being taken seriously. >> general powell, we will leave it there. as always thank you for your views. >> thank you, david. we will go inside the fights that dominate washington, not just over the president's cabinet but spending cuts and policy issues, like the war in afghanistan and new gun control legislation. our roundtable is here to help break it all down. democratic mayor of newark, corey booker, former republican governor of mississippi, haley barbour, republican strategist mike murphy and our own chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, up next, after this short break. up next, after this short break. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card!
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the time has come for me to return to my wife silvia, our three sons, six children and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. >> got the feeling that panetta was waiting so long to use that term about how many nut there is are in washington. i can't possibly know what he is talking about. back with our roundtable, joining me, former governor of mississippi and former rnc chairman, haley barbour, mayor of newark, new jersey i cory booker, mike murphy and
chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. welcome to all of you. well, governor barbour, i want to start with you, because i thought that was striking, some of general powell's comments, particularly about the republican party. he has now twice support president obama. he talks about a deep vein of intolerance within the party. how did that sit with you? >> well, general powell and i have been friends since he quit being a general and could be involved in politics. we don't see everything the same way but one thing very plain, republicans in this election did more poorly among hispanics, much more poorly among asian-americans and typically poorly among african-americans. we have to improve our standing among all of those the good thing is with the right kind of policies and the right kind of effort, we will do that. remember george bush, the last republican, got 44% of the public vote. not like there's some 1,000-year history here. >> you once said that colin powell is in the mainstream of the republican party. do you believe that today? >> i believe he is on the vast majority of the issues, i believe he see it is through his
own prism. >> mayor booker what do you think about that comment, particularly intolerance directed toward this president? >> first of all, i think he is spot on and i see the republican party moving away from the olympia snowes, lugers and jack kemp even, people with great ideas and putting a lot know the conversation. the rhetoric in this last campaign, i saw it in my community you turned off a lot of people, black, latino, women and guy. it was unnecessary. i turned on the tv, i sat up in my bed when i saw newt gingrich talking about marriage equality and how the republican party was going to have to start embracing some of these realities of the where the country is going or be left behind. and i think that's very, very true. and what i really would love to see though from both parties is stop speaking about how we can win elections and more importantly, how we can address the issues of america because the reality is if we focus on solving problems, that is good politics. good policy. good problem solving.
pragmatism always in my opinion, makes for good politics. >> mike murphy, you have had a lot of these similar critics but your thoughts about colin powell this morning? >> i agreed from the way we ignored demographics but happy to hear he is still a republican, kind of off on a democratic bender for a few years, that was good news to me and i invite him to come back home and help us modernize and strengthen the party. we could use him. >> bottom line, andrea mitchell, you can come in on this, but one of the big questions on the table, the politics of the hagel nomination, does he ultimately get confirmed? >> most likely yes. presidents get their choices. we have seen cases such as john tower, where that didn't happen. there is a point where at times, if something is said at a confirmation hearing or something else comes out we wouldn't expect in this case, where the opposition can reach critical mass and was here on "meet the press" that chuck schumer indicated his ambivalence to say the least. he is a key player here. and if chuck schumer and other democrats decide that they are going to go against this, then they have got a real problem. chuck hagel has been talking to
almost i think 30 senators privately. he is working it very hard. you saw what colin powell said today he has other advocates, brent scowcroft, don ridge, others who have known him for many years and support him by, too is in a different part of the republican party. it's not just that he has difficult personal relationship but he really offended john mccain in 2008. he didn't endorse barack obama but he traveled with him and that was a tacit endorsement going to iraq and afghanistan with obama and it really angered mccain. >> governor barbour, one of the questions that andrea raised in discussions with us this week is how does somebody who has got such a tough relationship with republicans help this president lead big budget cut backs at the pentagon? won't that be tough on capitol hill? . >> it remains to be seen. he wasn't picked to improve the president's relationship with republicans. like general powell, not sure exactly why he was picked but as
andrea said, normally, the presidents get their choices for the cabinet. these hearings, i think, will be contentious, particularly on iran, israel, hamas and hezbollah. we will see. i should tell you, chuck hagel and i have been friends since the mid'70s when we were young staffers. his wife was from meridian, mississippi. that maybe enough to help him. [ laughter ] but the fact of the matter is this is going to be about substance and about some things that are part of america's future and senator schumer i think put his finger on that. >> this is really though, mike, about the fights the president wants to pick and the ones he is gonna win. >> mm-hmm. >> we are seeing this already in this nomination process. >> i'm puzzled by all of this. i think the president has forgotten the campaign's over because we went through the fiscal cliff negotiation and it was a steel wall on any spending cuts which every expert said is
a huge part of the problem and a huge part of the solution. the president shut that down. now he has a pick and others, the job of defense secretary is going to be about managing budget problems because the president doesn't seem to have any interest in entitlements it is a contentious pick. we are going to have a five. i think the president is favored to win and more votes in senate but fighting over secretary of defense, that is not a way forward. that is the same thing of jack lew, totally qualified by the president seems to be digging in to fighting rather than getting solutions. that surprises me. >> part of this nomination process has been done almost nothing but attract criticism. there is an issue of diversity in cabinet as well and the tale of the images that have been presented. the "new york times" image that was about a story about the lack of diversity among the president's senior team, put that picture up that showed during the debt fight all white men surrounding him, valerie jarrett apparently not visible there because dan fiver is standing in front of her. the white house released a
counterpicture that pointed out that you had kathy remler, is there a problem with the president not pursuing more diversity, more women in his cabinet? are you troubled by that? >> to me this almost seems swift voting, you look at the data and numbers, taking a person's strength and trying to create a weakness out of it. the ht has about -- the president has about 50% of white house staff are women. which is twice a percentage that bush had and significantly more than clinton h appointments to the court, three women on the supreme court, two appointed by the president. >> big cabinet jobs, white men. >> the cabinet is not fully fleshed out now. >> big jobs. >> please don't diminish cabinet-level position as certain ones big, certain ones not. for domestic policy guy with the city every day, things -- many cabinet positions are very important. but let's just focus in on two things.
one that is very disingenuous to show that picture when 50% of the staff in the white house is women. number two to me, very important to understand this is a president who has expanded health care opportunities for women a president who stood up on his first legislation, lilly ledbetter law. you look at his policies and his practices, he is changing the focus of this country. >> i think a lot of women, andrea, would disagree this is the idea of swift voting this administration. >> let me say, that was a white house photo, that picture taken by the president's photographer, that indicated who was around him when he was dealing with the fiscal cliff negotiations, that's what that picture represented. at the highest levels of the white house and in the cabinet, you have men and they are white men. now, the numbers -- we can plate numbers game but as another democratic president said during a transition in 1992, you bean counters, you women's groups who are counting heads, i'm gonna fill these jobs but they were at lower level he is. the fact is that men help elect the president. women voted for the president in the greatest numbers but the men
on his team were the predominant people. you have two women who are the white house deputy chiefs of staff leaving this week but two women and neither of them are being mentioned at any of these trial balloons to replace jack lew, i have to tell you i wrote a story about this week and i did not get one complaint. i get lots of complaints from the white house about things that i say and do sometimes it's correct. sometimes i have to correct something. but not one person, and i talked to several people inside the white house, women, and they said, no, we didn't have any problem with what you wrote about this week. women are not happy. >> i got a horse laugh out of it you see that picture, old, rich white guys, looks like romney voters. going to have to rename the cabinet table, millionaire's row. a bigger indication here, the cabinet is getting smaller. he is not looking for opposing voices, no super stature people, like leon panetta, bob gates or hillary clinton. this is the yes, sir cabinet. we have big problems and shrinking to white
house-centric. >> described as a band of brothers cabinet this go-around, into the team of rivals. >> to me, it's even more -- it's beginning to look like a staff. beginning to look like the president's staff. >> he will argue that he was elected. why shouldn't he have the people around him. >> he has every right. a lot of presidents in their second term have become more and more isolated, listening only to the people that agree with them. that's republican president as well. >> nobody was saying this in his first term, we know what that looked like, hillary clinton to valerie jarrett. second term is not clear, all the seats not filled around the table. in addition this not a staff. chuck hagel was a republican, is a republican, has diversity. give him time to finish, fill out the staff and more importantly, i want to keep coming back to, is this election was fought over the issues that are important to america and women clearly saw that this is a president that will fight for,
affirm and advance equality or justice. >> i want to get back to some of the issues, the fights he is picking, the fight he could win or lose in the second term. i want to talk about that with the group when we come back, right after this. my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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the visual image people have of little 6-year-old kids riddled, not shot with a stray bullet, riddled, riddled with bullet holes in their classroom. and the public demand wes speak to it. >> the vice president who is going to submit is this week his package of legislation to the president on gun control measures. haley barbour, you were chairman of the party in the '90s, during the assault weapons ban and politics is there something different about the push now that makes it more politically successful, in your mind? >> of course, this awful, terrible thing that happened in connecticut. good god. i mean, people are emotionally involved and it's awful. the but the problem almost everything done is already against the launch the governor of connecticut said they had the fourth strictest gun law in the united states. >> didn't have a magazine ban, a high-capacity magazine ban. >> what we are talking about here is something really a awful, glad there is start to be attention on the mental health
side, a tough, tough, tough issue. but look, if you make it a crime to have a gun, only criminals will have guns that's just a fact. >> we bump up against the issues of the second amendment or first amendment when you get to video games, mike that is somehow going to have to be resolved. the optics were there in terms of a big, inclusive approach. does the president want this fight? >> it is difficult. democrats historically backed away in the past ten years from gun control politics. i will say, this as usual, the easily political bumper sticker stuff that might make people feel good is the least effective stuff. what works is the hard thing. we have 300 million guns on the street. in you profile the crazy, young adolescent males, we need to change the health laws. there are privacy issues.
we got to fight that five. it is easier to control a small number of crazy people than 300 million guns already out there >> but this debate is so tiring to me because we always are talking about the wrong issue. so, there are over 30 people murdered every day, almost a virginia tech every day in this country. which would lead this debate is pragmatic, consensus and data. the reality is, in my streets, majority assault weapons, hey, i would support an assault weapon ban but only affect a small percentage of the murders in this country. right now, we have 74% of nra members that agree with pragmatic changes to gun safety laws that would stop murderers in my city, murderers in chicago, murderers in los angeles, which are the murders that are happening all over our country right now. let me just give you a specific example. let me give you the specific solution. right now. if you were on the terrorist no-fly list and can't get on a plane and fly to newark, you can go gun shows, buy trunk loads full of weapons. we have traced the guns killing people on my streets and coming
from the secondary market. everybody, gun owners, over 80% of gun owners america say you should not be a able to just go anywhere and buy a gun without a background check. you fix that data shows if you're a woman murdered in this country, 50% of those women are murdered by someone they know. in places that have shutdown these secondary markets, they have been able to drop that 40%. if you want to keep people safe, let's not waste political capital on the margins -- >> you were right about the gun show loophole, everybody ought to get a background check. i'm for that. >> just do that would make people safer. >> 300 million guns in circulation, if you don't address mental health, down the -- >> this is where you're wrong, one thing you're wrong, one thing you're right. legal, law-abiding citizen does not kill people. i look at all the shootings in my city and could only find one that is done where somebody had a gun legally. i'm not worried about you buying a gun, you buying a gun. where people need to stop about all the guns in circulation they don't concern me. the guns that concern me, the
ability for a criminal with mal intent. >> you can't say the crime in your city not guns only in circulation that might have been bought legally and solved. >> if you shutdown the -- >> there's no time machine. >> ways to shutdown the secondary market. say lose your gun, you should to report that mental health issue, to have 19 states in america have less than 100 people reported as mental health bars from bringing guns into the federal database that is a problem. that is a problem. >> i have been told the president is going to do the big things. he is going to do the assault weapon ban. he is going to do the background checks, he has spoken of this. not going to back off on it. whereas some of us thought frankly watching joe biden and talking to people around a this task force that he was not going to go there, when this gets reported to the president, very quickly, by the end of this month, he is going to take some very big steps. it is a fight he wants to take on clearly. they may not get it. the politics aren't there yes.
but he is going to at least engage congress on. >> i have a couple of minutes and a couple things want to get to quickly. first of all, for you, mayor booker, you are taking on some of these big debates and might take them on in the senate. you filed your papers to run for the senate in new jersey to take on a senator lautenberg. is that what you intend to do? will you run? >> again, you have to file the papers even to do research on the issue, even to travel on the issue. so, we are complying with the law before we do any exploration of the senate run. we have got to file an account. that is my intention. it is over a year away. a lot is going to change between now and then. >> senator lautenberg called you self-absorbed and disrespectful. one of his spokespersons did. excuse me. the idea you have not worked out with senator lautenberg what his plans are. any missteps in terms of that? >> no again this is really early. we have reached out to him. even had a trip down here to speak with him but he wasn't able to speak. right now the senator, who i support, needs to focus on the
debt ceiling, focus on funding for sandy. i have two very good senators in the senate, we are going to support that. this campaign is over a year away. you know new jersey has to focus on a governor's race and legislative race. for know do it good exploration, due diligence for running i have to file. >> not ruling out challenging? >> not ruling out anything but premature to be speculative. >> i don't want us to leave without taking on a topic that has been big this week, if you saw the new york times with the hall of fame voting reflecting the steroids era, there it was. the inductees, a blank page, the likes of barry bonds, sosa and others were not inducted. now you have got haley barbour, lance armstrong, preparing to do an interview, famously win over the tour de france but has lost those titles because of doping accusations. it appears that he may make some confessions here, like to be reinstated, according to some of the reports be to be able to compete in the olympics or triathlons and the like. how does this work? public mea culpas and reinstating his good name?
>> well, it doesn't do anything about excessive federal spending. we know it. >> do you have a view on it? >> well, look, the doping deal is very good for america. for the people that are making the decisions say you got to play by the rules if you want to get the benefits. now, that's just the way it ought to be in our country. some of those people i thought were -- some of those ball players, baseball players i genuinely admired, crazy about, but people ought to be held the standard of the rules. >> yeah. >> i'm tired of the contrition culture, he is guilty and disgraced his sport. i don't think armstrong ought to get any quarter at all. ought to be banned for life. >> anybody disagree? >> i want to say the real story here is the kids who look up to these people and i see what's going on in high school football culture, see what's going on at the college level. it anguishes me deeply what children now are thinking, that this win at any costs culture is what we are creating as opposed to sportsmanship, honor and integrity in our sports. >> hear hear for the hall of
fame. baseball should not be diminished by the inclusion of these players. they have disgraced themselves. they have not disgraced the game, which is the greatest game. >> you know what would only enhance baseball and not diminish it finally the veterans committee would vote steve garvey into the hall of fame for his prowess, his durability and he is my favorite baseball player of all time. take a break. be back in just a moment. ♪ ♪ ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. and one wedding, 2 kids,
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